Six days ago, 34,000 Los Angeles educators took to the streets; today, they’re back in the classroom. And, although they haven’t yet signed on the dotted line, it looks like the 8th major teacher walkout in recent times has ended, but…

As Curmudgucation blogger Peter Greene reminds us, “Teacher strikes happen because they believe they’re out of alternatives.” In this case, they waited almost two years, all the while working without a contract.

The upshot:

  • A 6% raise: 3% for the 2017-18 school year and a 3% increase retroactive to July 1, 2018. (They’d asked for a 6.5%.)
  • 300 more nurses and 80 more teacher-librarians to be added over two years.
  • At least 17 full-time counselors to be hired to maintain a 500:1 student-to-counselor ratio.
  • Promises of smaller class sizes and the removal of a clause allowing the district to raise class sizes at will. (Some teachers now have more than 40 students in a class.)
  • The creation of 30 community schools with wraparound services and a focus on the arts.
  • The establishment of an “immigration defense fund” to protect immigrant students and families.
  • As of September, the formation of a district/union committee tasked with reducing assessments by 50%.
  • An increasing number of schools that do NOT conduct “racially discriminatory” random searches of students.
  • Formation of a district/union task force to find ways to create more green spaces on school grounds.
  • A stipulation that the district will protect neighborhood schools from “charter co-locations,” whereby charter schools function within a traditional public schools.

About that last item, this, ironically, is School Choice Week designated as such in 2011 by then President Barack Obama.

Also of note: Not only are charters well-funded by monied folks and exploding in number in California and elsewhere, but this year the U.S. Department will award $500 million to charter school chains. In other words, $500 million of your tax dollars.

With my thanks, so it goes… ~ Carol